I Should’ve Used Sunscreen These Last 28 Years and Other Skincare Regrets

With my 28th birthday nearing, I entered a Google black hole of skincare searches about night creams and serums for your 30’s. To understand my panic let’s go back about a decade. In high school, after lifeguard training at the local indoor pool, I would stop at the attached public library to wait for my Mum to come pick me up. Somehow, I’d always end up picking up a Glamour, Allure or Elle magazine. They all had a page dedicated to telling you what you should be wearing in or doing to your skin in your 30’s, 40, 50’s and beyond. I don’t know if these pages still exist but here’s an example from Google Images for anyone who has no idea what I’m talking about.

 
Credit: Gisele Flores/susanswimmer.com

Credit: Gisele Flores/susanswimmer.com

 

These pages subconsciously buried themselves in my brain and suddenly reared their heads as I stare down my 30’s. Now we have Google – where I spent an ungoldly amount of time doing research on skincare products for my almost 30 year old Sahara dry, sensitive skin. All that research made me realize, I should’ve paid attention to my skin earlier. I didn’t for a couple of reasons:

  1. For most of my life, I’ve had pretty good skin with minimal effort,

  2. Because of the above, I ignored most skincare advice for the majority of my twenties – likely to my detriment.

I don’t know about you but, you know how dermatologists tell you to take care of your skin in your twenties? Yeah, I ignored most of that for 26 or so years. With this in mind, these are 3 skincare regrets I have as I near the end of my twenties. If you have time, listen to the derms, they know what they’re talking about.

Wearing sunscreen

This is a pretty big one. I didn’t wear sunscreen because I am blessed with high melanin pigmentation i.e. I’m black. Melanin is a natural sun protectant. Whenever I tried to put sunscreen on my face, my sensitive skin would break out. Angrily. So I decided that it was not for me. You know what? That was WRONG. Wear your goddamn sunscreen, even if you’re blessed with the melanin. Don’t let those free radicals win!

Stop (or be gentle) with the scrubs

All dermatologists agree that you should exfoliate to get rid of dead skin cells, unclog pores, and encourage cell renewal. Although it seems dermatologists disagree on whether you should or should not use physical exfoliants. As a sensitive skin girl, this should’ve been a big no-no for me. Every time I used a physical exfoliant I caused micro tears in my skin, exposing it to environmental pollutants and the potential for breakouts.

Start with the night (and eye) cream

At some point, I read that I should use night cream. My response? WTF, no. My day cream will do double duty tyvm. Except, I should’ve at least gone with a drugstore formulation to get in the habit of helping my skin accelerate the rejuvenation that happens at night. According to Joanna Vargas, celebrity aesthetician, the skin around your eyes is the thinnest and most sensitive. Which is where your crow’s feet and fine lines are going to show up first. So find a great night cream and be religious about application. If you want to feel spa-level fancy, dermatologists recommend storing your eye cream in the fridge so that the cooling sensation helps depuff and calm your eyes. 😌

Despite that my search started from a place of panic, I’ve decided that some good can come from this. It’s not too late to start incorporating some of these products into my routine. I’m purchasing a handful of products to take for a test run and see what happens. So come back in a few weeks when I review if and how the products helped my skin!

Do you have a great skincare routine or is it totally nonexistent? Let me know in the comments or on insta!